Retired Court of Appeal Judge Rhys Harrison is setting up shop as an arbitrator and mediator following his retirement from the Bench in February, upon his 70th birthday.
The recommencement of private practice, advertised through an advertisement in Law Talk, reportedly resulted in a complaint from an anonymous party to the NZ Law Society that the newly retired Judge was practising without a certificate and an ill-fated complaint to the Police by another party who was subsequently arrested.
More arresting is an extensive interview the movie-and-music loving jurist appears in the latest Law Society News, where he explained his original desire to be a doctor (not enough brains), a journalist (his uncle set up the Wellington Polytech journalism school) and a rock singer like Mick Jagger should he have had the opportunity.
“I never had any desire to be a drummer in a rock and roll band but if I had been born Mick Jagger and the son of an economics professor from Kent University, I would have been in there like Flynn, doing all the things Mick’s done.
“Maybe not siring as many children but I would have been Mick Jagger in a flash,” he said.
Among his most recent, pre-retirement judgments was his decision on the Jordan Williams defamation claim against former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and a range of decisions that created what one senior barrister described as “an uneven judicial record.”
He became a barrister in 1987 following a partnership at McElroy Milne and became a silk in 1994 and a permanent judge in 2002.
To retain the former Judge’s services, he is reported to be charging $7000 a day, plus expenses. That should nicely supplement the judicial pension.